Do you know the effects of food and sleep? What does sugar do to your sleep? How about other foods like carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, fruits, vitamins and minerals. How do they all affect our sleep patterns? What is the best type of diet available for optimal sleep and rest and relaxation? Do specific drinks hinder your sleep pattern or not have an effect on it at all. This blog post will answer those questions!
Can sugar have an effect on the quality of our sleep?
How does it affect our sleep?
There are many studies that show the effects of sugar on sleep. Studies have shown that after eating a meal with high glycemic index, people experienced lower levels of melatonin and less deep sleep compared to those who ate meals with low glycemic index foods. Not only does this mean we're changing how we sleep but we are also not getting as much deep sleep.
Foods with high glycemic index like sugar can have a negative effect on the body by making people more awake which in turn will make it harder to fall asleep or get quality rest. They then become overly tired and unable to stay up for longer periods of time during the day.
What can be done to combat the effects of sugar?
The best way is by avoiding eating high glycemic index foods and try to eat low glycemic index foods. Another solution would be for people with sleep problems to increase their intake of protein-rich, fiber-filled food before bedtime in order to improve the quality of their sleep.
What if you have a sweet tooth?
If you have a habit of eating something sweet before bedtime, which is not the best idea for someone with sleep issues, you should try to look for foods that are lower in sugar and calories. Choose items such as strawberries instead of chocolate or other treats because it will help avoid any sudden crashing when your blood sugar levels drop while sleeping.
What are some examples of low glycemic foods?
Carbohydrates: vegetables, fruits, beans and lentils.
Protein: chicken breast or other lean meats like salmon.
Vegetables/fruits: spinach salad with carrots & cucumber dressing for lunchtime preferably with a protein shake before bed to keep energy up during the day as well as during sleep.
Vitamins/minerals: multivitamin, magnesium and calcium supplements to help with muscle relaxation as well as anxiety relief.
Dieting on the wrong foods can be very detrimental for your health especially when it comes to certain vitamins or minerals that are essential in aiding good rest and sleep patterns. Sugary drinks or chocolate can act as a stimulant and hinder your sleep patterns.
How do carbohydrates affect sleep?
Some people swear by carbohydrates to help them sleep better while other people find it can have the opposite effect and leave you feeling restless. Carbohydrates are a great source of sugar when your body needs that quick burst for energy in order to keep going.
What are the different types of carbohydrates?
There are different types of carbohydrates, which include bad carbs (sugar), good carbs (complex & unrefined). The best type for a well-balanced diet is called "smart carb" or complex.
How does protein affect sleep?
Protein is a vital component of your diet and needs to be included in order for you to get the amount needed in a day. Protein serves as an energy replenisher so it can help with sleep by providing that long-term release of energy instead of just momentary bursts like carbohydrates provide.
What about vitamins, minerals & other nutrients?
Why do we need vitamins and minerals? Vitamins are energy boosters for the body, which as discussed before can help with sleep. They have a direct effect on how well you feel during your day by providing that boost of energy you may be lacking due to diet or other factors. Minerals are also an important part in order to get enough energy to maintain a healthy sleep pattern.
What is the best type of diet available for optimal sleep and rest?
The general consensus on this topic states that there isn't any one perfect food group or number of foods needed in order to achieve good quality amounts of sleep, but what has been found is that those who eat more fruits have better quality sleep.
How does hydration affect sleep?
The amount of water in your body greatly affects how you sleep. If the level is too low, it can cause magnesium deficiency which will affect mental and physical functions.
What are some foods that hinder good quality sleep?
There are many different types of food that have been found to affect or interfere with our ability to fall asleep. Some examples are:
What are some of the best foods for sleep?
There are many different types of food that have been found to affect or interfere with our ability to fall asleep. Some examples are: magnesium, bananas, eggs, oatmeal, chicken and rice soup
Great foods for sleep include:
- Chamomile tea
- Dark chocolate
- Fiber rich food (avoid fiber supplements)
Is there a specific diet that is best suited for quality and restful sleep?
There are many different types of diets which have been found to be optimal for the process of getting good, deep sleep. Some examples are:
- The Mediterranean diet
- The Ketogenic Diet
It is important to keep in mind that what food choices we make can also have a big impact on our sleep quality and restfulness at night, so it's best to avoid as many foods as detrimental for the process of falling asleep (caffeine, high-fat foods, and alcohol).
The best way to ensure that you're getting your full eight hours of sleep is by making sure the food choices you make are beneficial for falling asleep. It is also important to note what time we eat our last meal before bed, because this can be a factor in how well rested we feel when waking up the next morning.
When it comes to food and sleep there are many different factors to consider. It is important to remember that a well balanced healthy diet is key to energy while awake and rest while asleep. Try and avoid an excess in caffeine, alcohol, and sugars prior to bed as they will disrupt your natural sleep patterns.